Herald Women’s Premier League Round 12 Review

June 21st, 2021

 Jack Antcliff

Match of the Round

New Lambton v Mid Coast FC

Washed out. Match to be rescheduled.

Broadmeadow Magic 2-1 Adamstown Rosebud JFC

Broadmeadow Magic were lucky to escape with three points on Friday after a nail-biting win over Adamstown Rosebud.

The Buds proved a tough task for the women in red, with the young squad able to limit the attacking chances of Magic’s advanced front third.

“We were much better with the ball this week which was emphasised to the players last week and I was really happy with their response,” Broadmeadow coach Jake Curley said.

“Adamstown defended in their own half and were very disciplined which made it difficult for us to break down.”

Magic remain second on the table, two points behind competition leaders Newcastle Olympic, though maintain a 12-point gap to third-placed Warners Bay.

They next play the Panthers in round 14.

“The only thing that was a little disappointing was conceding another penalty. Every game is important for us, so I’m happy to get the result in the end,” Curley said.

“Our focus next week will be to have a full week of training and working on breaking down deep blocks.”

Friday night’s loss continued the theme of narrow margins for the Buds, who last week were edged out by Maitland 3-2 deep into additional time.

“The most impressive part was the attention to detail that the girls took in making sure they stuck to their tasks and did them as well as possible,” Adamstown coach Ryan Campbell said.

“The girls stuck to our game plan very well throughout the game and the game panned out as we were hoping for it to.”

A lack of composure close to goal has so far cast a shadow over Rosebud’s season. The Buds have been close but not close enough on several occasions against the competition’s heavyweights.

“At this stage, we are just missing that composure straight after key moments occur. We seem to get flustered when these moments pop up,” Campbell said.

The focus for Adamstown now turns to Warners Bay, who will be looking to bounce back after a shock loss to Charlestown. Magic play Mid Coast.

“We can take confidence into next week that we did well in this game but in the end every game is a new game,” Campbell said.

Rosebud will also be hopeful of success in the Women’s State Cup, to be played over the weekend of July 3 and 4. Campbell expects to take a full-strength squad to the tournament.

“We have a young and fit team so we will just approach it as we would any other game and try and be successful on the weekend,” he said.

Newcastle Olympic 4-0 Maitland FC

Horrible weather and an in-form Maitland side could not halt Newcastle Olympic’s unbeaten run as they downed the Magpies 4-0 on Saturday.

A Jemma House double saw her chalk up her 50th Herald Women’s Premier League goal as Olympic cruised to victory at Darling Street.

Played in what Olympic coach Harmonie Attwill described as “horrible conditions,” Olympic were too good for the Magpies in both attack and defence.

Plenty of expectation was on both sides with Olympic coming into the match on the back of a nine-game winning streak, while Maitland had climbed to fourth after three wins in a row.

Yet it was Olympic who continued their good form thanks to goals from Dannielle Nicol and Keely Gawthorp as well as House’s double.

Back in Australia after a stint in the US, House joined Olympic last year and brought up her 50th WPL goal in just 25 games in the competition.

“I think sometimes those games [of wet weather football] could go either way,” Attwill said.

“Really it only takes a deflection or a ball to skim off the ground.

“They were still able to play positive attacking football. Across the board, the girls just step up.

“Happily we were able to control possession and control the game.”

Darling Street’s playing surface held up well in the adverse conditions, with the ability to convert close to goal in wet weather a challenge.

Attwill was impressed by her side’s clinical ability in the final third.

“Yesterday we did really well to create opportunities. The girls were pretty clinical when they got an opportunity, they scored,” Attwill said.

Keelan Hamilton was left with little to be positive about after the match, with the Maitland coach critical of some decisions that went against his side.

“Really very proud of our girls. We played some good football at times and created some clear chances. Olympic’s goalkeeper had a strong match,” he said.

“I was left disappointed with the conduct of some of our opposition but congratulate Olympic on their victory.”

It was an afternoon to forget for the visitors, who will look to bounce back quickly when they host New Lambton on Saturday. Olympic head to Lisle Carr Oval to play Charlestown Azzurri.

Warners Bay FC 2-4 Charlestown Azzurri

It is safe to say the rivalry between Warners Bay and the former Merewether United outfit, now Charlestown Azzurri, is far from dead.

Azzurri chalked up a memorable win over the Panthers on Saturday, despite starting the match with just 10 fresh players. Charlestown coach Niko Papaspiropoulos noted his side “worked hard and dug in.”

“The girls played very well. It was a really great performance from the whole team,” he said.

“We found a little bit of calmness among the pressure we were under.”

Freya Clifton led the way for the visitors with a double, while Jess Gentle was again in the action. Gentle added another goal to her season tally while Isabella Ramzan-Levy found the side’s other goal.

“We showed that extra little bit of composure and that extra little bit of smarts in those key moments to make sure we sealed the game,” Papaspiropoulos said.

Charlestown, who remain sixth on the table, are now just one point adrift of fifth-placed Adamstown. For Papaspiropoulos, his side’s ability to close the game out in a tight finish won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

“We changed shape a little for this game just to try something different because we had a few girls out. In the new shape the girls were quite good in their individual performances,” he said.

The road ahead does not get any easier for Azzurri who host leaders Newcastle Olympic next up.

“It was one of our best games for certain. The girls responded well under tough circumstances, next week we can go into the game with good spirits,” Papaspiropoulos said.

Down 3-0 at the three-quarter point in the match, it would be reasonable to expect some teams to slip into an expectation of an administrative outcome. Step forward mid-season signing Tara Pender.

Pender’s goal gave the home side hope of a comeback, before Elodie Dagg reduced the margin to just one. The Panthers inability to convert close to goal a seemingly unsurpassable barrier.

“We came out of the blocks nice and sharp. We probably should have scored in the first 10 seconds. But that’s been our problem, we can’t finish off,” Atkins said.

“We’re getting numbers in the box, we’re doing everything right, whether it is a bit of composure. We had enough chances to win three games.”

Zoe Horgan could return within weeks for the Panthers, with Atkins expected to name a near full strength line-up for their clash with Adamstown.

“We know what Adamstown are going to be like. They will look to keep a lot of possession,” he said.

“We have just got to be patient. We will dig ourselves out of this.”

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